Saturday, 31 October 2009
Dir: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Jeff Garlin (from Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Another Pixar production from the director of Finding Nemo. NB saw this on Blu-Ray and visually it's stunning. A little bit too stunning. It looks and feels like a technical demo for the first half. It doesn't help that there is no, or little, dialog for the first 30 minutes. It's a bold move, respect due, but it doesn't quite work.
Things really kick off when Wall-E goes to space. This is where it peaks visually too. It kind of reminds me of Prince Joe Cool in Space, that short story classic. Wall-E can grasp at the stars.
The story really gets going when Wall-E and the fate of humanity are tied together thru the existence of a plant. Jeff Garlin plays the overweight, under-educated leader of nation of humans addicted to entertainment.
The analogies and predictions for the future are a bit contrived (particularly the Adam and Eve thing, and the 'we're all becoming fat and destroying the environment' motif) but still worthy.
I didn't quite take to it as others would becuase I didn't feel anyting for Wall-E, but it's an entertaining film with the usual Pixar quality of production.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Dir: Hayao Miyazaki
Narry B has been around the block a few times. He grew up on the streets. He's now sickened by the constant repetition of useless opinion that fills the internet. Where does this idea of mass opinion come from?
Ponyo is not a) "kid's film", and b) it is not a letdown for Miyazaki. Even if it was a "kid's film" (the very expression make's NB's skin crawl, ironing out the wrinkles on his sagging face), that would be all the more reason to go see it as hopefully it wouldn't have the same amorality and contrivision of "adult films". People better be purifying their hearts, and Ponyo's the way to do it!
It's genius from start to finish. Ponyo is visually sublime, storily captivating and musically entrancing. I don't normally get massively involved in the film, but when watching Ponyo I was moved to shout "Run, Sosuke!", or let out a gasp of shock as the waves tried to encroach him. Ponyo is so powerful that it touched this old man's heart.
As with all made in Japan films, the fact that you have to watch it in the original Japanese is blindingly obvious. Ponyo doesn't bother to explain everything (is that what being a "kid's film" means?) and leaves you in love with life and nature.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Dir: Katsuyuki Motohiro (Who?!)
Starring: Masanobu Ando, Kyoko Suzuki
A guy who works at a pub and spends his time writing novellas on some rather disturbing themes (such as a baby who rules the earth) should never be trusted for film recommendations. How does Narry Borman, your guide to all that is good in the greasy world of graphic grahams (aka films), know this? Just such a person recommended Satorare (Japanese title) to me.
It's not bad, but Motohiro seems to try to cram way too much in to what is actually quite a lightweight film. The first half is kind of comedic, with some nice sci-fi/mystery touches. Annoyingly, the plot then goes overly dramatic; dying grand-mothers, raison d'etres, surgery, and tears. Lots and lots of tears. Plus an overly confident woman standing up for 'babes lib' or something.
In fact, the last ten minutes of the film are spent almost entirely in sweeping, panning shots of the main cast crying and hugging. Sickening. It kind of ruined what started out as an interesting flim.
You'll recognise the cast from (variously) Drive and A Cheerful Gang that Turns the Earth.